Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases
Liability for a medical malpractice injury can be established under a variety of legal theories. Most medical malpractice lawsuits in New York are filed under the theory of negligence. However, only a skilled New York medical negligence attorney can determine which theories can help support your medical malpractice claim.
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Proving Negligence in New York Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Most medical malpractice lawsuits in New York attempt to prove that the defendant, often a doctor, nurse or hospital, was negligent in treating the patient. Under this legal theory, the New York medical malpractice attorney must prove the following:
- The defendant owed a duty to the injured plaintiff (i.e. a doctor/patient relationship)
- The defendant breached their duty to the patient by deviating from the standard of care expected among medical professionals
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the patient’s injury
- The patient suffered an injury
To prove negligence, the plaintiff and their New York medical malpractice attorney must demonstrate that the defendant’s conduct fell beneath the standard of care expected in the medical field. To establish an acceptable standard, a medical expert qualified in the same field of medicine as the defendant will provide a testimony explaining the standard of care expected among workers in that profession. In addition to providing an expert testimony, the plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant failed to meet this level of care.
Liability for Medication Errors
A healthcare worker can be held accountable for the negligent prescription of a drug or medical device if they disregarded the manufacturer’s instructions, prescribed the wrong drug or administered the wrong dosage, which resulted in harm to the patient. In certain instances, a pharmaceutical company can be responsible for a medication error and subsequent injury if they failed to warn the doctor of the potential dangers or side effects of the medicine.
Because the prescribing physician has extensive medical knowledge and has been supplied, by the manufacturer, with information about the drug, he or she is typically responsible for determining whether a drug is appropriate for their patient. Therefore, the doctor has an obligation to warn their patients about the risks and complications associated with the drug he or she prescribes.
Medical negligence can be alleged if a healthcare professional fails to obtain “informed consent.” Although the exact definition of informed consent varies, it generally means that a medical provider must inform their patients of the possible risks, benefits and alternatives involved in any treatment, surgery or medical procedure, and acquire the patient’s written consent to continue.
New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Proving fault in a New York medical malpractice case is often difficult. It necessitates the hiring of medical experts, who must testify as to how the defendant should have acted under applicable professional standards. Establishing a deviation from the acceptable standard of care is also difficult because the defendants are generally the individuals who wrote the medical reports which form the basis of any medical malpractice lawsuit.
Our New York medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and legal knowledge to persevere through these hardships. Not only have we successfully handled countless medical malpractice claims on behalf of injured patients, we also previously worked as defense lawyers and understand the tactics negligent medical professionals use to defend their actions. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical error, our New York medical malpractice attorneys have the knowledge and resources to develop a watertight case on your behalf. To speak with our New York medical negligence lawyers about your claim, fill out our FREE case review form on this page.